Yuri Kuma Arashi – 03

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Verdict: Action, drama, sharp brightly colored art with a strong sense of personal style, and a rocking trancey-pop sound track catapulted Yurikuma to the top of its game, and all anime’s game this week and I don’t see any sign of it slowing down any time soon.

If you haven’t started watching it, stop what you are doing and go watch it. Then watch it again because, I promise you, the lovely details are layered on thick here and something new will hop out of you each chance you give it!

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What didn’t work: is entirely dependent on your sense of taste. If the absurd, pure love of yuri-love message this show presents doesn’t mesh with your personal view, I can see why you may want to run for the hills.

Otherwise, this is a technical masterpiece and an emotionally touching piece of psycho-storytelling.

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What pushed it up to a 10: was the superior integration of visuals and sound track. Also, the pattern making, which has been strong in weeks past, finally hit its groove. The Escher bird-to-mountain design appears everywhere, fading in when the emotional need to achieve conformity is brought up by the story, and fading away when the personal view is the center.

I don’t even know what all the symbolism stands for, but it is very strong and it feels legitimate, regardless of what I can bring to the table.

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Summing up the story: Yurizono really did eat Sumika, and she quickly positions Kureha to follow. Using easily manipulated girls of the classes, she makes Kureha the next target of the invisible and sends the storm, which appears to be some sort of cyber-bullying over the phone, or text or something.

However, Ginko has decided she wants to save Kureha (or just wants her to eat herself) and, with Lulu’s loving help, gets the yuri-court to approve her love, her love for Kureha, and thus bolstered, Kureha is able to shoot Yurizono in their final show down.

Then Ginko and Lulu eat another girl, this time the one who organized Kureha’s invisible… storming.

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Lesbearian Storm bashed my skull in this week and it was awesome. I can hardly make sense of what it all meant but, between the crazy, trippy visuals and the throbbing, Emiliani Torini style sound track, man was I hooked.

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10 thoughts on “Yuri Kuma Arashi – 03”

  1. I would ironically say RIP Death Parade, but then Death Parade wasted half its episode on a recap, so an unironic RIP Death Parade shall be had.

    I for one welcome our lesbian bear overlords.

  2. Hmmm. The opening made pause and wonder if the show was just exploiting Yuri themes for the sake of it. I’ll have to give it a fair look based off of your review.

    1. no no it is, to a degree. In the same way Kill La Kill exploited flesh and violence to make it’s over the top revenge story grab our attention. Yurikuma really nails it (this week) with the visuals: Pattern making, repetition of patterns, and the use of physical objects that could actually be symbols or hold symbolism for more things. It’s visually quite stunning, bizarre, and even has an element of retroness that is envogue these days. I’m not sure the series is for everyone, but you owe it to yourself to watch up to this one and see if it fit as perfectly together as it did for me

      1. Yes. I realized I dismissed it too quickly so I watched episode 1 in full last night. Pretty good! In some ways it reminded me of Mawaru Penguindrum which is a favorite of mine. I will definitely keep watching.

  3. In full agreement with Oigakkosan. That was badass. The intensity of what should be a patently ridiculous premise was taken to another level compared to the first two eps, which were no slouches.

    I really felt the depths of Kureha’s loss when she remembers racing to the flowerbed in the storm to find Sumika already there protecting them, followed by warming up with her by the fire. Such a beautiful, powerful memory, made all the more sad by Kureha watching the image of her love fade away at the now vacant desk.

    Between Yurikuma, Saekano, Rolling Girls, and the continuation of Violin Girl, this Winter is looking awfully good.

    For those curious: Hashimoto Yukari did the music. His credits also include Sasami-san@Ganbaranai, Penguindrum (natch), Sankarea, Golden Time, and Toradora!.

    1. It’s crazy that Sumika is still in this show as much as she is (explains her prominence in the promotional art) and I wonder if she will remain this ghostly reminder of love, of humanity and compassion, or if she will become something else?

      Symbols. This show is full of them.

    1. Phenomenal read, Many thanks! I highly recommend it to anyone who is still lost or confused with Yurikuma to the point of frustration. Hell, it makes me want to watch the first three episodes all over again!

      To whit: “The Judgemens are our old friend, the patriarchy. They arbitrarily regulate women’s sexuality under the trappings of authority while giving anything that titillates them a pass.” Absoultely spot-on, and confirms what I had intrinsically felt but was unable to articulate.

      One can certainly enjoy Ikuhara’s work on a purely superficial level, but it’s an even more rewarding experience when you recognize the symbols and messages. Ms. Ekens provides that much-appreciated nudge into deeper comprehension.

      Kureha and Sumika reminded me of Haruka and Yuu in Sakura Trick, a show I found notable for it’s earnest depiction of semi-secret “romantic friendships” and for eschewing the more common (and in some cases, more marketable) “predatory lesbian” stereotype Ms. Ekens describes.

      It’s mentioned in that show that they and their friends are “apart from the herd”, and expected to eventually grow out of their romantic love for one another, though the show does not reach that far into their future, and is more about them enjoying their time together in the now.

      Kureha and Sumika are not so lucky, but the world they live in (or Sumika lived in, past tense) is merely a harsher, more stylized, more elemental version of the more mundane world of Trick, as well as our own.

      And I knew I’d seen that pattern on the Wall of Severance before!

    2. Sense has finally been made! I decided to watch the first three episodes today after Franklin endorsed it so much only to be severely confused. I did enjoy Kureha’s character development, but I was getting upset that there was clearly a deeper meaning that I didn’t get. Before reading the essay, the only thing I understood was why I decided to study engineering and not art. That essay is definitely worth the read.

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